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Anna Margolin (1887–1952)

Author of Drunk from the Bitter Truth: The Poems of Anna Margolin

Includes the names: אנה מרגולין

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Anna Margolin was a pen name of Rosa Lebensboim, born in the city of Brest-Litovsk in the Russian Empire (now Belarus), the only child of Hasidic Jews who gave her a secular education. She lived in Warsaw with her father for a while after her parents divorced. In 1906, her father sent her to the USA, where she settled in New York City. There she joined a circle of immigrant Jewish intellectuals and writers, and became a journalist for the Yiddish press. She traveled to London, Paris, and back to Warsaw, where she met and married Moshe Stavski, a Hebrew writer. The couple moved to Palestine, where their son was born. However, she was unhappy in the marriage and eventually returned to the USA. She joined the staff of the newly-established daily newspaper Der Tog in 1914, and became a member of the editorial board. She wrote a weekly women’s column entitled "In der Froyen Velt" (In the Women’s World) and went to Europe as a correspondent reporting on women’s issues. During this time, she wrote several articles in support of the women's suffrage movement. At the newspaper, she met her second husband, Hirsh Leib Gordon. They became estranged during World War I. Rosa used many pen names during her writing career. Beginning in 1909, she wrote short stories under the names Khave Gros and Khane Barut. She signed some of her journalism work as Sofia Brandt and as Clara Lenin. In 1929, when she published "Lider," the only volume of her poems that appeared in her lifetime, she used the pseudonym Anna Margolin. She is regarded by literary critics as one of the finest and most influential early 20th-century Yiddish poets in America. Her poetry has been translated by Adrienne Rich, Kathryn Hellerstein, and Marcia Falk, among others, and appears in many Yiddish poetry anthologies in English.
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